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Being Your Own Boss and Franchising

We’re living in a memorable, historic period that seems likely to be studied by future generations. But while the past year has been full of unprecedented events, some things never change. Whether we’re interested in owning a franchise or starting up our own independent business, most people have one career goal — to be their own boss.

At least, that’s the conclusion from an April 2021 survey by FranchiseInsights.com.

The website surveyed its visitors and asked why they wanted to own a business, even in the midst of a pandemic. While money and simply being tired of climbing the corporate ladder were top picks, the overwhelming reason people say they want to own a business is to “be my own boss.”

For comparison’s sake, 69 percent of recipients cited income potential as a reason to start their own business, while a whopping 89 percent of recipients reported their desire to call their own shots. Simply being tired of climbing the corporate ladder was roughly 35 percent. In other words, people value freedom and control of their own destiny more than just about anything, and they see being their own boss as the way to achieve that.

I wasn’t surprised, and I doubt you are. While the potential to make a healthy income is important, there’s nothing quite like the freedom of having choices, and when you’re a business owner, you do have that.

But as we know, it’s easy to say that you want to be your own boss and far harder to actually do it. So if you’re thinking of starting your own business and are particularly interested in franchising, which is my area of expertise, there are a lot of questions you should ask yourself — before you decide what path to take.

Am I ready to start my own business?

That’s an obvious question, and while you may want to be a business owner, pandemic aside, it’s important to determine whether the timing is right. If you’re taking care of an aging parent, for instance, or if your finances have been challenged and you know you can’t get business funding, then maybe you should hold off for a while.

If that’s the case, there’s no reason to beat yourself up over delaying your start. Just because the timing is bad, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t research it now and develop plans for the future. In fact, if you’re mentally ready to start a business, but the timing isn’t good, then now is exactly when you should be making plans, so the moment you are ready, you can hit the ground running.

How much risk do I want to take?

Starting any business is risky, but it’s generally understood that franchising eliminates much of that doubt. When you’re starting a business from scratch, you’re investing hard-earned money and loans into a business idea of yours that may or may not fly. When buying a franchise, you have the confidence that the public has already embraced the brand. Franchises don’t run themselves, though. You still have to put the work in — but if you’ve done your homework, you at least know that the business model is sound and there is a realistic path to profitability.

Is my personality a good fit for owning a franchise or starting a business from scratch?

Some people should be starting their own new business instead of franchising, and others are clearly a better fit for franchising.

It’s more than your risk tolerance. You might be a detail-oriented person who wants a blueprint for a business and to follow it, or you may be somebody who is more of a creative free spirit and just wants to wing it without the guidance of a franchise system.

When you run a franchise, you agree to run a business in the way that the franchise is designed to run. If you buy a Wendy’s, there is a clear brand with established products and operations. It wouldn’t make sense to try and turn it into a pizza delivery service. Otherwise, the business model that provides your path to success is no longer relevant.

So if you love the idea of following a blueprint and a proven system, franchising would be a great option for you — assuming that you find one that is a good fit. If you’re thinking of buying a franchise because you hear it’s a smart thing to do, but you personally have doubts that it’s right for you, then you should probably listen to your gut — or at least do even more research before you commit one way or the other.

How do I imagine my future as a business owner?

We often think in the moment. We picture ourselves starting or buying a business, and we think about how wonderful it will be to be our own boss and have the autonomy to make as much money as possible. Maybe we imagine having employees and giving back to the community; and all those fulfilling aspects of business ownership.

But what about 10 or 20 or more years from now? How do you envision the business running when you’re retired? Is this something you’ll pass onto your children or grandchildren? Do you intend to sell it? Will your franchise sell for a higher price, and faster, than an independent business that you plan on starting on your own?

Some franchises allow the option for absentee ownership, where you’re retired and on your boat on a lake, and you’re doing little more than running the show on your phone. With other franchises or businesses, that may impossible.

So you really want to look for a business that isn’t just right for right now but also for later. It needs to be a business that not only you can grow but will evolve to fit your future needs along with your present.

All of which means that while the questions are important, the answers are even more important. If you are thinking of buying a franchise, you definitely have a lot to think about. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in becoming a successful and satisfied franchise owner, but you want to talk to somebody who has helped thousands of franchise candidates determine if a franchise business was a good fit for them, I hope you’ll give me a call. My services never cost aspiring franchise owners anything.

Give me a call at 919.846.7111, shoot me an email at jjudy@franchoice.com or click the button below to schedule an appointment.

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